You Don’t Need This

I was looking through the newspaper the other day, when I saw an article about a person defacing a subway ad. Before reading the article, I assumed it would be malicious vandalism of some sort, and was ready to shake my head at humanity in disgust. Instead I was taken by surprise. What was defaced was an ad from a plastic/cosmetic surgery clinic promoting the tummy tucks, liposuction and breast augmentations it specialized in.

A woman by the name of Jennifer Dawson saw this ad every day, as she took the subway to her job as a professor of digital marketing at a college uptown. Much to Ms. Dawson’s dismay, she often frowned upon this ad, showing busty women who are scantily clad, with tiny waists and long flowing hair, the stereotypical ideal beauty. She found the ad infuriating and offensive, being subjected to it on her daily commute. One morning what she saw on the ad made her smile. Someone had scrawled in black marker “you don’t need this” under the picture of the well endowed woman. Feeling inspired, she took a dry erase marker and wrote “you don’t need this” on the ad as well. Never being a vandal, Dawson described her contribution of disapproval to the ad and its message exhilarating. She posted the photo on her Twitter page, and quickly the hashtag “you don’t need this” began to trend. The Toronto Cosmetic Clinic was also quick to speak out, defending their ad. In reply, a representative stood strong, saying many of these procedures increase self-love in women, altering a flaw they felt left them lacking confidence. The clinic also feels vandalism is not the way to express opinions, although many are applauding Ms. Dawson’s stance, calling it positive grafitti.


Should your physical appearance determine confidence and self-love? I don’t know. I have always been kind of on the fence about plastic surgery. I feel that if a person wants a little nip and tuck and it truly makes them feel better about themself, then why not? I think that when you feel better about yourself on the outside, this can also make you feel better internally with a confidence boost. I myself always thought that if money was of no concern, I would consider getting liposuction on my thighs. These days, not so much. As I began to discover the power of diet and exercise, the changes in my body brought forth a feeling of confidence that I do not need from going under the knife. I am excited to see what more healthy eating and exercise can do for me physically and mentally, so I no longer think about liposuction. I think about squatting. But that’s just one guy’s opinion.

Where I do agree with the you don’t need this hashtag trend is when plastic surgery gets out of control. When a person begins to morph into a different physical being all together is disturbing to me personally. A tummy tuck is very different than changing your face into Beyoncé’s or Jennifer Lopez’s or another celebrity that you have no resemblance to.  When a person face starts to look so tight and plastic, taking on what I call a plastic doll look, that they no longer have the ability to smile or talk with moving lips then we have a problem. A sixty year old who has had so much work done that they have the same skin elasticity as a twenty year old is just wrong. There is something to be said about aging gracefully. Removing a little bump on your nose bridge is a far cry from going from a natural A cup to a double D. When a person has had so much work done that their plastic surgeon will no longer do another procedure, that is an unhealthy addiction.

To sum it all up, to each his/her own, but everything has its limits. The You Don’t Need This campaign continues to trend.

What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery? Do you feel Jennifer Dawson was wrong in her contribution to defacing the ad?

8 thoughts on “You Don’t Need This

  1. Jennifer was not wrong in defacing the ad. Businesses use the ad to reach the public. They should know ALL of the public may not agree with it. Jennifer is a member of the public who expressed that. Depending on the type of business you are, you should know your audience or the stigma around your service/product. The subway has a diverse group travelling through there so some may not be interested and others like Jennifer, you know; there are lots of opinions out there.

    Plastic surgery is not for me but I may consider laser because I hate the maintenance of hair removal. Or I could just relocate to where the social expectations are different. Cosmetic surgery is to each their own. Whatever makes you comfortable. A lot of girls who have had breast augmentation open up about it; one fitness chick says it did not make her feel more confident. I’m quite impressed by these ladies speaking up about it. Female community making me proud in general in using our voice and keeping it real. No one can say they don’t care about looks (it’s a lie) and we all alternate it in some way. Yes, some more drastic than others which is why I conclude to each their own.

    1. That’s a great point Vonnie. These ads are placed in places where a wide array of people will see see them, of all ages, races, sizes and genders. It is impressive to see that people are maybe feeling comfortable in their own skin from this campaign. Yet the majority of people would like to fix some flaw, minor or major in our society.

    1. Yes, I have mixed feelings too. For people that have been scarred as you mention from accidents, I am happy there are cosmetic surgeons who can fix this, or a little tweeking to make someone feel better both on the inside and outside. But when you want Scarlett Johannson’s lips and Kim K’s butt, and on and on, I think there is something deeper there.

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